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1.  Two Adjacent and Similar TetR Family Transcriptional Regulator Genes, SAV577 and SAV576, Co-Regulate Avermectin Production in Streptomyces avermitilis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99224.
Streptomyces avermitilis is an important bacterial species used for industrial production of avermectins, a family of broad-spectrum anthelmintic agents. We previously identified the protein SAV576, a TetR family transcriptional regulator (TFR), as a downregulator of avermectin biosynthesis that acts by controlling transcription of its major target gene SAV575 (which encodes cytochrome P450/NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase) and ave genes. SAV577, another TFR gene, encodes a SAV577 protein that displays high amino acid homology with SAV576. In this study, we examined the effect of SAV577 on avermectin production and the relationships between SAV576 and SAV577. SAV577 downregulated avermectin biosynthesis indirectly, similarly to SAV576. SAV576 and SAV577 both directly repressed SAV575 transcription, and reciprocally repressed each other's expression. SAV575 transcription levels in various S. avermitilis strains were correlated with avermectin production levels. DNase I footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays indicated that SAV576 and SAV577 compete for the same binding regions, and that DNA-binding affinity of SAV576 is much stronger than that of SAV577. GST pull-down assays revealed no direct interaction between the two proteins. Taken together, these findings suggest that SAV577 regulates avermectin production in S. avermitilis by a mechanism similar to that of SAV576, and that the role of SAV576 is dominant over that of SAV577. This is the first report of two adjacent and similar TFR genes that co-regulate antibiotic production in Streptomyces.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099224
PMCID: PMC4051647  PMID: 24915523
2.  Resin-assisted enrichment of thiols as a general strategy for proteomic profiling of cysteine-based reversible modifications 
Nature protocols  2013;9(1):64-75.
Reversible modifications of cysteine thiols play a significant role in redox signaling and regulation. A number of reversible redox modifications, including disulfide formation, S-nitrosylation, and S-glutathionylation, have been recognized for their significance in various physiological and pathological processes. Here we describe a procedure for the enrichment of peptides containing reversible cysteine modifications. Starting with tissue or cell lysate samples, all of the unmodified free thiols are blocked using N-ethylmaleimide (NEM). This is followed by the selective reduction of those cysteines bearing the reversible modification(s) of interest. The reduction is achieved by using different reducing reagents that react specifically with each type of cysteine modification (e.g., ascorbate for S-nitrosylation). This protocol serves as a general approach for enrichment of thiol-containing proteins or peptides derived from reversibly modified proteins. The approach utilizes a commercially available thiol-affinity resin (Thiopropyl Sepharose 6B) to directly capture free thiol-containing proteins through a disulfide exchange reaction followed by on-resin protein digestion and multiplexed isobaric labeling to facilitate LC–MS/MS based quantitative site-specific analysis of cysteine-based reversible modifications. The overall approach requires a simpler workflow with increased specificity compared to the commonly used biotinylation-based assays. The procedure for selective enrichment and analyses of S-nitrosylation and the level of total reversible cysteine modifications (or total oxidation) is presented to demonstrate the utility of this general strategy. The entire protocol requires approximately 3 days for sample processing with an additional day for LC-MS/MS and data analysis.
doi:10.1038/nprot.2013.161
PMCID: PMC4038159  PMID: 24336471
Mass spectrometry; post-translational modification; cysteine modification; redox modification; cysteine derivatisation; on-resin digestion; on-resin reaction; thiol enrichment; S-nitrosylation; reversibly oxidized cysteines; S-glutathionylation; S-acylation; iTRAQ; isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification; tandem mass tags; TMT; MASIC
3.  Surveillance-response systems: the key to elimination of tropical diseases 
Tropical diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Although combined health efforts brought about significant improvements over the past 20 years, communities in resource-constrained settings lack the means of strengthening their environment in directions that would provide less favourable conditions for pathogens. Still, the impact of infectious diseases is declining worldwide along with progress made regarding responses to basic health problems and improving health services delivery to the most vulnerable populations. The London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), initiated by the World Health Organization’s NTD roadmap, set out the path towards control and eventual elimination of several tropical diseases by 2020, providing an impetus for local and regional disease elimination programmes. Tropical diseases are often patchy and erratic, and there are differing priorities in resources-limited and endemic countries at various levels of their public health systems. In order to identify and prioritize strategic research on elimination of tropical diseases, the ‘First Forum on Surveillance-Response System Leading to Tropical Diseases Elimination’ was convened in Shanghai in June 2012. Current strategies and the NTD roadmap were reviewed, followed by discussions on how to identify and critically examine prevailing challenges and opportunities, including inter-sectoral collaboration and approaches for elimination of several infectious, tropical diseases. A priority research agenda within a ‘One Health-One World’ frame of global health was developed, including (i) the establishment of a platform for resource-sharing and effective surveillance-response systems for Asia Pacific and Africa with an initial focus on elimination of lymphatic filariasis, malaria and schistosomiasis; (ii) development of new strategies, tools and approaches, such as improved diagnostics and antimalarial therapies; (iii) rigorous validation of surveillance-response systems; and (iv) designing pilot studies to transfer Chinese experiences of successful surveillance-response systems to endemic countries with limited resources.
doi:10.1186/2049-9957-3-17
PMCID: PMC4071800  PMID: 24971165
Tropical diseases; Control; Elimination; Surveillance-response system; Global health; China
4.  Dynamic expression patterns of ATF3 and p53 in the hippocampus of a pentylenetetrazole-induced kindling model 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;10(2):645-651.
Epilepsy is a common and often deleterious neurological condition. Emerging evidence has demonstrated the roles of innate immunity and the associated inflammatory processes in epilepsy. In a previous study, we found that Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are upregulated and promote mossy fiber sprouting (MFS) in an epileptic model. As downstream effectors of TLRs, the activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) and p53 proteins were shown to be involved in neurite outgrowth. In the present study, we hypothesized that ATF3 and p53 participate in the process of epilepsy and can affect MFS. To investigate this hypothesis, we examined the expression of ATF3 and p53 in hippocampal tissues of rats kindled by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) using immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry and western blotting. MFS was evaluated by Timm staining in the hippocampus. Results from these experiments revealed that expression of ATF3 and p53 is significantly higher (p<0.05) in the CA3 area of the hippocampus in the PTZ-treated group compared to the control group. ATF3 expression gradually increased from 3 days to 4 weeks, peaked at 4 weeks and decreased slightly at 6 weeks in the PTZ group, while the expression of p53 was maintained at similar levels at different time-points following PTZ treatment. No obvious difference in the expression of these proteins was observed between the PTZ and the control group in the dentate gyrus (DG) area (p>0.05). The degree of MFS in the PTZ group peaked at 4 weeks and was maintained at a high level until 6 weeks post-PTZ treatment. In conclusion, ATF3 and p53 may be involved in the occurrence of seizure and play critical roles in MFS in the PTZ kindling model.
doi:10.3892/mmr.2014.2256
PMCID: PMC4094765  PMID: 24859284
epilepsy; activating transcription factor 3; p53; axon growth; MFS
5.  Reduction Patterns of Acute Schistosomiasis in the People's Republic of China 
Background
Despite significant, steady progress in schistosomiasis control in the People's Republic of China over the past 50 years, available data suggest that the disease has re-emerged with several outbreaks of acute infections in the early new century. In response, a new integrated strategy was introduced.
Methods
This retrospective study was conducted between Jan 2005 and Dec 2012, to explore the effectiveness of a new integrated control strategy that was implemented by the national control program since 2004.
Results
A total of 1,047 acute cases were recorded between 2005 and 2012, with an annual reduction in prevalence of 97.7%. The proportion of imported cases of schistosomiasis was higher in 2011 and 2012. Nine clusters of acute infections were detected by spatio-temporal analysis between June and November, indicating that the high risk areas located in the lake and marshland regions.
Conclusion
This study shows that the new integrated strategy has played a key role in reducing the morbidity of schistosomiasis in the People's Republic of China.
Author Summary
A retrospective study on the incidence of acute schistosomiasis in the People's Republic of China (P.R. China) was performed, in order to assess the new integrated control strategy that was implemented through the national control program from 2005 to 2012. The lake and marshland regions have been identified as high risk areas as shown by the nine spatio-temporal clusters that we found in the transmission period between June and November each year. When a total of 1,047 reported cases of acute schistosomiasis were analyzed, a reduction in prevalence of 97.7% between 2005 and 2012 was found. In contrast, imported cases of acute schistosomiasis increased between 2011 and 2012. These findings support the approach and effectiveness of the new integrated strategy in the reduction of schistosomiasis morbidity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002849
PMCID: PMC4014431  PMID: 24810958
6.  Hypertriglyceridemic Waist Phenotype and Chronic Kidney Disease in a Chinese Population Aged 40 Years and Older 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92322.
Objective
To examine the relationship between the HW phenotype and risk for CKD in a community population aged 40 years and older.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Zhuhai from June to October 2012. The participants were divided into three groups: Group 1, Waist circumference >90 cm in men or >85 cm in women and triglycerides ≥2 mmol/l; Group 3, Waist circumference ≤90 cm in men or ≤85 cm in women and triglycerides <2 mmol/l; Group 2, The remaining participants. The prevalence of the three subgroups and CKD were determined. The association between HW phenotype and CKD was then analyzed using SPSS (version 13.0).
Results
After adjusting for age and sex, Group 1 was associated with CKD (OR 3.08, 95% CI 2.01, 4.73, P<0.001), when compared with Group 3. Further adjustment for factors which were potential confounders and unlikely to be in the causal pathway between the HW phenotype and CKD, Group 1 was still significantly associated with CKD. The OR for CKD was 2.65 (95% CI 1.65, 4.26, P<0.001). When adjusted for diabetes and hypertension, the association of Group 1 and CKD was still significant (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.26, 3.45, P = 0.004). Group 2 was associated with CKD (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.29, 2.53, P = 0.001), when compared with Group 3. Further adjustment for factors which were potential confounders, Group 2 was still significantly associated with CKD. The OR for CKD was 1.75 (95% CI 1.22, 2.51, P = 0.002). When adjusted for diabetes and hypertension, the association between Group 2 and CKD still existed. The OR for CKD was 1.48 (95% CI 1.01, 2.16, P = 0.046).
Conclusion
Our results showed that HW phenotype was associated with CKD in the population aged 40 years and older.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092322
PMCID: PMC3963886  PMID: 24663403
7.  The Effects of Needling Fenglong (ST40) and Neiguan (PC6) on IL-17 of ApoE-Gene-Knockout Mice's Liver 
The aim of the present paper was to observe the effects of needling ST40 and PC6 on IL-17 of ApoE−/− mice with fatty liver. Forty male ApoE−/− mice were randomized into Needling-Acupoint Group, Simvastatin Intragastric Administration Group, Needling Nonacupoint Group, and Model Group. Each was fed with high fat diet for 8 weeks since 16 weeks of age; after 8 weeks of intervention, mice were sacrificed and tested for various examinations. Result showed that the body weight, TC, and serum IL-17 in Needling-Acupoint Group decreased. Compared with Model Group, the immunohistochemical expressions of IL-17 in liver tissue were significantly decreased among the other three groups. In conclusion, acupuncture was able to lower the expression of IL-17 level both in serum and liver tissue in ApoE−/− mice, which is helpful to reduce the inflammation and defers the progress from fatty liver to cirrhosis.
doi:10.1155/2014/691863
PMCID: PMC3979069  PMID: 24778705
8.  Association of Uric Acid with Metabolic Syndrome in Men, Premenopausal Women and Postmenopausal Women 
Objective: To explore the relationship between serum uric acid (SUA) and metabolic syndrome (MS) in men, premenopausal women and postmenopausal women. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 1,834 community-based Southern Chinese participants from June to October 2012. Sex-specific SUA quartiles were used as follows: <345, 345–<400, 400–<468, ≥468 µmol/L in males; and <248, 248–<288, 288–<328, ≥328 µmol/L in females. MS was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) Criteria. The association between SUA and MS was then analyzed using the STATA software. Results: The odds ratio (OR) for having MS in the highest versus lowest quartiles of SUA levels was 2.46 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39 to 4.34, p = 0.002) in men after adjusting for age, sex, history of coronary heart disease, history of stroke, current current smoking, current alcohol use, physical inactivity, education status, and BMI. Further adjusting for above confounders, hypertension and diabetes, the OR for having MS in the highest versus lowest quartiles of SUA was 3.06 (95% CI, 1.64 to 5.70, p < 0.001). The OR for having MS in the highest versus lowest quartiles of SUA was 3.45 (95% CI, 1.38 to 8.64, p = 0.008) and 1.98 (95% CI, 1.16 to 3.37, p = 0.08) in premenopausal women and postmenopausal women after adjusting for age, sex, history of coronary heart disease, history of stroke, current smoking, current alcohol use, physical inactivity, education status, and BMI. Further adjusting for above confounders, hypertension and diabetes, the OR for having MS in the highest versus lowest quartiles of SUA was 3.42 (95% CI, 1.15 to 10.18, p = 0.03) and 1.87 (95% CI, 1.05 to 3.33, p = 0.03) in premenopausal women and postmenopausal women. Conclusions: Higher SUA levels are positively associated with the presence of MS in males and females. Higher SUA levels had a higher risk of having MS in premenopausal women than in postmenopausal women.
doi:10.3390/ijerph110302899
PMCID: PMC3987011  PMID: 24619122
uric acid; metabolic syndrome; premenopausal women and postmenopausal women
9.  Maternal Prepregnancy Body Mass Index and Gestational Weight Gain on Pregnancy Outcomes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82310.
Objective
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the single and joint associations of maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) with pregnancy outcomes in Tianjin, China.
Methods
Between June 2009 and May 2011, health care records of 33,973 pregnant women were collected and their children were measured for birth weight and birth length. The independent and joint associations of prepregnancy BMI and GWG based on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines with the risks of pregnancy and neonatal outcomes were examined by using Logistic Regression.
Results
After adjustment for all confounding factors, maternal prepregnancy BMI was positively associated with risks of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, preterm delivery, large-for-gestational age infant (LGA), and macrosomia, and inversely associated with risks of small-for-gestational age infant (SGA) and low birth weight. Maternal excessive GWG was associated with increased risks of pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, LGA, and macrosomia, and decreased risks of preterm delivery, SGA, and low birth weight. Maternal inadequate GWG was associated with increased risks of preterm delivery and SGA, and decreased risks of LGA and macrosomia, compared with maternal adequate GWG. Women with both prepregnancy obesity and excessive GWG had 2.2–5.9 folds higher risks of GDM, pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, LGA, and macrosomia compared with women with normal prepregnancy BMI and adequate GWG.
Conclusions
Maternal prepregnancy obesity and excessive GWG were associated with greater risks of pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, and greater infant size at birth. Health care providers should inform women to start the pregnancy with a BMI in the normal weight category and limit their GWG to the range specified for their prepregnancy BMI.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082310
PMCID: PMC3869661  PMID: 24376527
10.  Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of a Comprehensive Schistosomiasis japonica Control Program in the Poyang Lake Region of China 
Schistosomiasis japonica remains a significant public-health problem in China. This study evaluated cost-effectiveness of a comprehensive schistosomiasis control program (2003–2006). The comprehensive control program was implemented in Zhangjia and Jianwu (cases); while standard interventions continued in Koutou and Xiajia (controls). Incurred costs were documented and the schistosomiasis comprehensive impact index (SCI) and cost-effectiveness ratio (Comprehensive Control Program Cost/SCI) were applied. In 2003, prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum infection was 11.3% (Zhangjia), 6.7% (Jianwu), 6.5% (Koutou), and 8.0% (Xiajia). In 2006, the comprehensive control program in Zhangjia and Jianwu reduced infection to 1.6% and 0.6%, respectively; while Koutou and Xiajia had a schistosomiasis prevalence of 3.2% and 13.0%, respectively. The year-by-year SCIs in Zhangjia were 0.28, 105.25, and 47.58, with an overall increase in cost-effectiveness ratio of 374.9%–544.8%. The SCIs in Jianwu were 16.21, 52.95, and 149.58, with increase in cost-effectiveness of 226.7%–1,149.4%. Investment in Koutou and Xiajia remained static (US$10,000 unit cost). The comprehensive control program implemented in the two case villages reduced median prevalence of schistosomiasis 8.5-fold. Further, the cost effectiveness ratio demonstrated that the comprehensive control program was 170% (Zhangjia) and 922.7% (Jianwu) more cost-effective. This work clearly shows the improvements in both cost and disease prevention effectiveness that a comprehensive control program-approach has on schistosomiasis infection prevalence.
doi:10.3390/ijerph10126409
PMCID: PMC3881122  PMID: 24287861
Schistosomiasis japonica; comprehensive control program; cost-effectiveness; Poyang Lake region
11.  Corneal arcus and xanthomas in homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia: First report from China 
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology  2013;61(12):770-771.
We report the case of a 12-year-old male who developed corneal arcus and multiple skin lesions with a 10-year history of xanthomas. The lesions appeared over his fingers, hands, elbows, knees, buttocks and feet. Laboratory studies showed a total serum cholesterol level of 752.1 mg/dL; a triglyceride level of 96.6 mg/dL; a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level of 661.3 mg/dL. Findings were consistent with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. To our knowledge, this is the first such case to be reported from China.
doi:10.4103/0301-4738.118456
PMCID: PMC3917403  PMID: 24088637
Familial hypercholesterolemia; corneal arcus; xanthomas
12.  Acupuncture as prophylaxis for menstrual-related migraine: study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:374.
Background
Menstrual-related migraine is a common form of migraine affecting >50% of female migraineurs. Acupuncture may be a choice for menstrual-related migraine, when pharmacological prophylaxis is not suitable. However, the efficacy of acupuncture has not been confirmed. We design and perform a randomized controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture compared with naproxen in menstrual-related migraine patients.
Methods/Design
This is a multicenter, single blind, randomized controlled clinical trial. A total of 184 participants will be randomly assigned to two different groups. Participants will receive verum acupuncture and placebo medicine in the treatment group, while participants in the control group will be treated with sham acupuncture and medicine (Naproxen Sustained Release Tablets). All treatments will be given for 3 months (menstrual cycles).
The primary outcome measures are the change of migraine days inside the menstrual cycle and the proportion of responders (defined as the proportion of patients with at least a 50% reduction in the number of menstrual migraine days). The secondary outcome measures are the change of migraine days outside the menstrual cycle, duration of migraine attack, the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and intake of acute medication. The assessment will be made at baseline (before treatment), 3 months (menstrual cycles), and 4 months (menstrual cycles) after the first acupuncture session.
Discussion
The results of this trial will be helpful to supply the efficacy of acupuncture for menstrual-related migraine prophylaxis.
Trial registration
ISRCTN: ISRCTN57133712
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-374
PMCID: PMC3830503  PMID: 24195839
13.  Venous Oxygenation Mapping using Velocity-Selective Excitation and Arterial Nulling (VSEAN) 
A new MRI technique to map the oxygenation of venous blood is presented. The method uses velocity-selective excitation and arterial nulling pulses, combined with phase sensitive signal detection to isolate the venous blood signal. The T2 of this signal along with a T2-Y calibration curve yields estimates of venous oxygenation in situ. Results from phantoms and healthy human subjects under normoxic and hypoxic conditions are shown, and venous saturation levels estimated from both sagittal sinus and grey matter based ROIs are compared to the related techniques TRUST and QUIXOTIC. In addition, combined with an additional scan without arterial nulling pulses, the oxygen saturation level on arterial side can also be estimated.
doi:10.1002/mrm.24145
PMCID: PMC3342455  PMID: 22294414
Venous Oxygen Saturation; Arterial Oxygen Saturation; Velocity Selective Excitation; T2; VSEAN; TRUST; QUIXOTIC; Magnetic Resonance Imaging
14.  Ganoderiol A-Enriched Extract Suppresses Migration and Adhesion of MDA-MB-231 Cells by Inhibiting FAK-SRC-Paxillin Cascade Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76620.
Cell adhesion, migration and invasion are critical steps for carcinogenesis and cancer metastasis. Ganoderma lucidum, also called Lingzhi in China, is a traditional Chinese medicine, which exhibits anti-proliferation, anti-inflammation and anti-metastasis properties. Herein, GAEE, G. lucidum extract mainly contains ganoderiol A (GA), dihydrogenated GA and GA isomer, was shown to inhibit the abilities of adhesion and migration, while have a slight influence on that of invasion in highly metastatic breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells at non-toxic doses. Further investigation revealed that GAEE decreased the active forms of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and disrupted the interaction between FAK and SRC, which lead to deactivating of paxillin. Moreover, GAEE treatment downregulated the expressions of RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42, and decreased the interaction between neural Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (N-WASP) and Cdc42, which impair cell migration and actin assembly. To our knowledge, this is the first report to show that G.lucidum triterpenoids could suppress cell migration and adhesion through FAK-SRC-paxillin signaling pathway. Our study also suggests that GAEE may be a potential agent for treatment of breast cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076620
PMCID: PMC3812178  PMID: 24204647
15.  Maternal Prepregnancy Body Mass Index and Gestational Weight Gain on Offspring Overweight in Early Infancy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77809.
Objective
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association of maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) with anthropometry in the offspring from birth to 12 months old in Tianjin, China.
Methods
Between 2009 and 2011, health care records of 38,539 pregnant women had been collected, and their children had been measured body weight and length at birth, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age. The independent and joint associations of pre-pregnancy BMI and GWG based on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines with anthropometry in the offspring were examined using General Linear Model and Logistic Regression.
Results
Prepregnancy BMI and maternal GWG were positively associated with Z-scores for birth weight-for-gestational age, birth length-for-gestational age, and birth weight-for-length. Infants born to mothers with excessive GWG had the greatest changes in Z-scores for weight-for-age from birth to Month 3, and from Month 6 to Month 12, and the greatest changes in Z-scores for length-for-age from birth to months 3 and 12 compared with infants born to mothers with adequate GWG. Excessive GWG was associated with an increased risk of offspring overweight or obesity at 12 months old in all BMI categories except underweight.
Conclusions
Maternal prepregnancy overweight/obesity and excessive GWG were associated with greater weight gain and length gain of offspring in early infancy. Excessive GWG was associated with increased infancy overweight and obesity risk.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077809
PMCID: PMC3817352  PMID: 24204979
16.  A novel POLH mutation causes XP-V disease and XP-V tumor proneness may involve imbalance of numerous DNA polymerases 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(6):1583-1590.
Xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XP-V) is a subtype of xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) disease with typical pigmentation and types of cancer in the oral maxillofacial and other sun-exposed regions. Few factors of tumor proneness in XP-V have been completely elucidated with the exception of the POLH [which encodes DNA polymerase η (pol η)] mutation. The aim of the present study was to identify the POLH mutation in an XP-V patient and to explore the roles of specific additional polymerases in XP-V tumor proneness. The POLH gene was sequenced in the patient and the expression of pol η, ι, κ, θ and ζ was tested in XP-V tumor cells and cell lines, as well as in HeLa cells with POLH knockdown. The results revealed a novel, large homozygous deletion of POLH (del exon 5–9) in the patient. Lower expression of pol κ, θ and ζ were observed in the XP-V cells and similar changes were observed in HeLa cells with POLH knockdown. Consistent with XP-V tumor cells, following UV irradiation, the expression of pol κ and θ presented was significantly increased in the XP-V cell lines compared with that in the normal control cells. The unusual expression of other polymerases, besides pol η, identified in the present study indicated that these polymerases may also be key in XP-V cells genetic instability, which accelerates tumor formation.
doi:10.3892/ol.2013.1604
PMCID: PMC3834328  PMID: 24260050
POLH; mutation; Xeroderma pigmentosum; XP-V
17.  A Novel TetR Family Transcriptional Regulator, SAV576, Negatively Controls Avermectin Biosynthesis in Streptomyces avermitilis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71330.
Avermectins produced by Streptomyces avermitilis are potent anti-parasitic agents that are useful in animal health care, agriculture, and the treatment of human infections. In a search for novel regulators that affect avermectin biosynthesis, comparative transcriptome analysis was performed between wild-type strain ATCC31267 and avermectin overproducing strain 76-02-e, revealing some differentially expressed genes. SAV576, which is downregulated in 76-02-e and encodes a TetR family transcriptional regulator (TFR), was shown to inhibit avermectin production by indirectly affecting the expression of ave genes. SAV576 directly repressed the transcription of its gene SAV576 and of adjacent genes SAV575 (encodes cytochrome P450/NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase) and SAV574. The SAV576-binding sites within the bidirectional SAV575-SAV576 promoter region were determined by DNase I footprinting assays. A consensus 15-bp palindromic sequence CCRTACRVYGTATGS was found in these binding sites and shown to be important for SAV576-binding activity. SAV575, an important target gene of SAV576, was shown to exert a positive effect on avermectin production. The study findings extend our limited knowledge of the complex regulation of avermectin biosynthesis and provide a basis for rational genetic manipulation of S. avermitilis to improve avermectin production through control of SAV576 and its target gene.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071330
PMCID: PMC3742746  PMID: 23967193
18.  Proteomic Analysis of Signaling Network Regulation in Renal Cell Carcinomas with Differential Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-2α Expression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71654.
Background
The loss of von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) protein function leads to highly vascular renal tumors characterized by an aggressive course of disease and refractoriness to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Loss of VHL in renal tumors also differs from tumors of other organs in that the oncogenic cascade is mediated by an increase in the levels of hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF2α) instead of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α).
Methods and Principal Findings
We used renal carcinoma cell lines that recapitulate the differences between mutant VHL and wild-type VHL genotypes. Utilizing a method relying on extracted peptide intensities as a label-free approach for quantitation by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, our proteomics study revealed regulation of key proteins important for cancer cell survival, proliferation and stress-resistance, and implicated differential regulation of signaling networks in VHL-mutant renal cell carcinoma. We also observed upregulation of cellular energy pathway enzymes and the stress-responsive mitochondrial 60-kDa heat shock protein. Finding reliance on glutaminolysis in VHL-mutant renal cell carcinoma was of particular significance, given the generally predominant dependence of tumors on glycolysis. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000335.
Conclusions and Significance
Pathway analyses provided corroborative evidence for differential regulation of molecular and cellular functions influencing cancer energetics, metabolism and cell proliferation in renal cell carcinoma with distinct VHL genotype. Collectively, the differentially regulated proteome characterized by this study can potentially guide translational research specifically aimed at effective clinical interventions for advanced VHL-mutant, HIF2α-over-expressing tumors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071654
PMCID: PMC3733962  PMID: 23940778
19.  Determinants of Brachial-Ankle Pulse Wave Velocity in Chinese Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Objective. To investigate the relationship between Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), and its associated risk factors in Chinese patients with RA. Methods. 138 Chinese RA patients and 150 healthy subjects were included. baPWV of all the participants was measured. RA related factors were determined, as well as traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Results. baPWV was significant higher in RA group (1705.44 ± 429.20 cm/s) compared to the healthy control group (1386.23 ± 411.09 cm/s) (P < 0.001). Compared with low baPWV group, high baPWV group patients were significantly older (P = 0.008) and taller (P = 0.033). Serum cholesterol (P = 0.035), triglycerides (P = 0.004), and LDL level (P = 0.006) were significantly higher in high baPWV group patients compared with low baPWV group patients. The baPWV of RA patients was positively correlated with age (r = 0.439, P < 0.001), and serum cholesterol level (r = 0.231, P = 0.035), serum triglycerides level (r = 0.293, P < 0.001), serum LDL level (r = 0.323, P = 0.003). Meanwhile, baPWV negatively correlated with the height of RA patients (r = −0.253, P = 0.043). Multivariate regression analysis showed that baPWV of RA group was independently associated with age and serum triglycerides level. Conclusions. The old age and high level of serum triglycerides may be the major determinants of arterial stiffness in Chinese RA patients.
doi:10.1155/2013/342869
PMCID: PMC3747488  PMID: 23983767
20.  DNA-Polyfluorophores for Real-Time Multicolor Tracking of Dynamic Biological Systems** 
doi:10.1002/anie.201201928
PMCID: PMC3489938  PMID: 22684777
fluorescence; label; oligonucleotide; multicolor; Real-time; tracking; imaging
21.  Genistein interferes with SDF-1- and HIV-mediated actin dynamics and inhibits HIV infection of resting CD4 T cells 
Retrovirology  2013;10:62.
Background
Binding of HIV to the chemokine coreceptor CXCR4 mediates viral fusion and signal transduction that promotes actin dynamics critical for HIV infection of blood resting CD4 T cells. It has been suggested that this gp120-mediated actin activity resembles the chemotactic actin dynamics mediated by chemokines such as SDF-1. To determine whether inhibiting SDF-1-mediated chemotactic activity can also inhibit HIV infection, we screened several inhibitors known to reduce SDF-1-mediated chemotaxis of T cells.
Results
We found that a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, genistein, inhibited both SDF-1-mediated chemotaxis and HIV infection of resting CD4 T cells. Genistein was also found to interfere with SDF-1- and HIV-mediated actin dynamics in CD4 T cells. This reduction in actin activity correlates with genistein-mediated inhibition of viral DNA accumulation in resting CD4 T cells. In addition, we also tested two other tyrosine kinase inhibitors, sunitinib and AG1478. Sunitinib, but not AG1478, inhibited HIV infection of resting CD4 T cells. We further tested the safety of genistein in 3 Chinese rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), and each animal was given a monotherapy of genistein at 10 mg/kg orally for 12 weeks. No adverse drug effects were observed in these animals.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that novel therapeutic strategies can be developed based on targeting cellular proteins involved in HIV-dependent signaling. This approach can interfere with HIV-mediated actin dynamics and inhibit HIV infection.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-10-62
PMCID: PMC3693989  PMID: 23782904
HIV-1; Actin; SDF-1; Genistein; Sunitinib; Cofilin; LIMK1
22.  Intermedin protects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in diabetic rats 
Background
Diabetic patients, through incompletely understood mechanisms, endure exacerbated ischemic heart injury compared to non-diabetic patients. Intermedin (IMD) is a novel calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) superfamily member with established cardiovascular protective effects. However, whether IMD protects against diabetic myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury is unknown.
Methods
Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin in Sprague–Dawley rats. Animals were subjected to MI via left circumflex artery ligation for 30 minutes followed by 2 hours R. IMD was administered formally 10 minutes before R. Outcome measures included left ventricular function, oxidative stress, cellular death, infarct size, and inflammation.
Results
IMD levels were significantly decreased in diabetic rats compared to control animals. After MI/R, diabetic rats manifested elevated intermedin levels, both in plasma (64.95 ± 4.84 pmol/L, p < 0.05) and myocardial tissue (9.8 ± 0.60 pmol/L, p < 0.01) compared to pre-MI control values (43.62 ± 3.47 pmol/L and 4.4 ± 0.41). IMD administration to diabetic rats subjected to MI/R decreased oxidative stress product generation, apoptosis, infarct size, and inflammatory cytokine release (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01).
Conclusions
By reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis, IMD may represent a promising novel therapeutic target mitigating diabetic ischemic heart injury.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-91
PMCID: PMC3703263  PMID: 23777472
Intermedin; Ischemia-reperfusion; Diabetes; Oxidative stress; Apoptosis; Inflammatory
23.  Comet-FISH with strand-specific probes reveals transcription-coupled repair of 8-oxoGuanine in human cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;41(16):7700-7712.
Oxidized bases in DNA have been implicated in cancer, aging and neurodegenerative disease. We have developed an approach combining single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) that enables the comparative quantification of low, physiologically relevant levels of DNA lesions in the respective strands of defined nucleotide sequences and in the genome overall. We have synthesized single-stranded probes targeting the termini of DNA segments of interest using a polymerase chain reaction-based method. These probes facilitate detection of damage at the single-molecule level, as the lesions are converted to DNA strand breaks by lesion-specific endonucleases or glycosylases. To validate our method, we have documented transcription-coupled repair of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in the ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) gene in human fibroblasts irradiated with 254 nm ultraviolet at 0.1 J/m2, a dose ∼100-fold lower than those typically used. The high specificity and sensitivity of our approach revealed that 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) at an incidence of approximately three lesions per megabase is preferentially repaired in the transcribed strand of the ATM gene. We have also demonstrated that the hOGG1, XPA, CSB and UVSSA proteins, as well as actively elongating RNA polymerase II, are required for this process, suggesting cross-talk between DNA repair pathways.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt524
PMCID: PMC3763531  PMID: 23775797
24.  Inhibition of HIV replication in vitro by clinical immunosuppressants and chemotherapeutic agents 
Cell & Bioscience  2013;3:22.
Background
Recent studies have suggested that a functional cure for HIV-1 infection, purportedly resultant from allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, may be possible. Additionally, the first such patient was treated with whole-body irradiation, immunosuppressants, and the chemotherapeutic, cytarabine. However, the precise role of the coinciding medical interventions in diminishing detectable HIV reservoirs remains unstudied.
Findings
In this article, we demonstrate that the immunosuppressants, mycophenolic acid and cyclosporine, and the chemotherapeutic, cytarabine, are potent antiretroviral agents at clinically relevant dosages. These drugs strongly inhibit HIV-1 replication in a GFP indicator T cell line and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
Conclusions
Our study suggests that certain clinical immunosuppressants and chemotherapeutic agents may act combinatorially to inhibit HIV infection. Additionally, chemotherapy-mediated cytotoxicity may also affect the stability of viral reservoirs. Thus, further study is needed to examine potential therapeutic value of these interventions in patients.
doi:10.1186/2045-3701-3-22
PMCID: PMC3680316  PMID: 23672887
HIV-1; Rev-CEM; CD4 T cells; Chemotherapy; Mycophenolic acid; Cyclosporine; Cytarabine
25.  Relative quantitation of protein nitration by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry using isotope-coded dimethyl labeling and chemoprecipitation 
Journal of chromatography. A  2012;1232:266-275.
Protein nitration has been recognized as an important biomarker for nitroxidative stress associated with various diseases. While identification of protein targets for nitration is important, its quantitative profiling also is necessary to understand the biological impact of this low-abundance posttranslational modification. We have previously reported an efficient and straightforward enrichment method for nitropeptides to reduce sample complexity and permit unambiguous site-specific identifications by LC–MS analyses. This approach relies on two chemical derivatization steps: specifically reductive methylation of aliphatic amines and, then, conversion of nitrotyrosines to the corresponding aminotyrosines before their selective capture by a solid-phase reagent we introduced previously. Hence, the method inherently offers the opportunity for relative quantitation of nitropeptides by using isotopic variants of formaldehyde for reductive methylation. This simple method was tested via LC–MS analyses of differently N-methylated nitropeptides and nitroubiquitin as a model nitroprotein enriched from human serum albumin digest and from human plasma, respectively.
doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2011.12.100
PMCID: PMC3482478  PMID: 22285050
Protein nitration; Stable-isotope labeling; Enrichment; Relative quantitation; LC–MS; Tandem mass spectrometry

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